According to the 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report , which studied marketing approach and strategies for over 1000 SMEs in Australia, only 50% of small businesses have a website, while only 26% websites and businesses were using SEO tactics. The same study, which also talked to about 1000 consumers, found that on an average, almost 83% consumers agree that search engines like Google are important for finding a business, while 62% of customers said that they will stop considering a business, if information on the company cannot be found online.
This indicates two major points –
- Small businesses are not taking SEO and online marketing seriously
- As a result of Point No 1, they are losing customers and business
Before we start thinking that small businesses and startups are not careful with their marketing strategies, understanding their challenges is important. Besides the obvious financial restraint, many of these new and budding businesses are not utilizing the power of having a website and online strategy, which is costing them huge on an average.
In this post, we will talk about small business SEO struggles, and why some of these companies are not going right with their online marketing efforts.
- Because of less money and time.
It goes without saying that smaller companies and websites don’t have the huge resources like their big brand counterparts. To make it simpler – You have to spend on marketing if you want to gain from it. While SEO is organic, you still have to hire a company or a marketing agency to get the work done, and that requires a monthly budget at the very list. It is also important to understand that SEO
is an organic process, which means you cannot expect to get gains overnight. Among various small business struggles is the need to keep a constant budget for SEO.
Most small businesses want to get to the top of Google immediately, or at least, feature on the first place. In order to save money, companies with limited resources and knowledge of SEO dive into the process, which takes away the crucial time. Let’s say you have five people working in the company, and if they are dealing with everything, right from sales and revenue to accounting and SEO, the time obviously is a factor. This is the precise reason why getting SEO help is so, so important.
- Because they don’t have a marketing team
Most small businesses are stretched too thin when it comes to marketing, which is also why many owners and managers don many hats at the same time. While this doesn’t obviously translate into great marketing, other work also suffers. Not having a comprehensive and experienced marketing team for SEO is one of the prime mistakes or rather lapses on part of growing businesses. Having a dedicated SEO agency for the job not just adds expertise, but also resources. It goes without saying that a team is better than one SEO expert. Not all SEO companies offer small business solutions, so if you are a new business on the block, some initial research can always come in handy.
- Because they have client expectations to manage
Small businesses already have a lot on their plate, and without a dedicated SEO firm to handle their campaign efficiently, they often have a hard time achieving the basic results. Many companies, especially the ones that have just started business, are too consumed with the process of satisfying customers, and as a result, they often botch up the marketing aspect. SEO requires time, effort and focus, and to get traffic and boost up on the ranking scale, being at it without a break is critical.
- Because bigger businesses have been doing it for a while.
It is a known fact that Google likes older domains, but big businesses also have the advantage of being consistent with SEO and online marketing for a while. These brands weren’t born like that, but a dedicated marketing team and a group of SEO experts worked on every aspect, right from content management, to link building, keywords placement and more. To be more precise, these brands already know what works for them and what doesn’t – i.e. experience, which small businesses don’t have. As a result, new companies often struggle initially to find a foothold with SEO.
- Because small businesses have smaller websites. A small website always has lesser pages, and the amount of content is also limited. This means that smaller businesses can target fewer keywords, which kind of reduces their chances, compared to big websites that have a huge range of search queries, which only helps in promoting better with SEO. Small websites often have to grapple with the limited scope that their small websites provider. As a business struggling to survive, you have to focus on your website. Having a highly-optioned, well- structured and designed website is not a choice anymore.
- Because smaller websites and companies don’t create enough content. When it comes to SEO, “Content is king”. Keeping shifting SEO trends in mind, a campaign must be modified, and new content must be generated, and we are talking of relevant content here – No matter whether it’s posts, articles or video content, small companies need to be regular at it, for which the SEO agency hired for the job can offer direction. New companies struggling with marketing must first find an answer to the content problem. Creating content and distributing it effectively to drive traffic to the website are aspects that need attention.
- Because smaller companies assume more traffic means high conversion. If your SEO strategy is not right i.e. audience specific, you may still get a good number of hits and visits on your website, but that doesn’t translate into a better conversion rate. In simpler words, high traffic doesn’t always mean huge conversions, and as a result, you may not get the profits or sales numbers as expected. Setting up SEO goals is one of the many small business issues, because they want too much, often being obvious to the fact that organic marketing can take time and has its own course.
- Because rankings may drop unexpectedly. Search engine algorithms do change, and it can be hard for smaller businesses to keep up the momentum, even if they initial succeed with SEO strategies. Many such companies think of this as the end of the road, but this is more of a block, which will pass, if you are focused on SEO and online marketing and keep up and adapt to the changes.
- Because small companies don’t have media advantage SEO is hard for smaller companies because bigger brands and websites have an obvious advantage of getting media coverage without even trying too hard. Such websites can get links from authority
sites often for free, and getting access to other sources for promotions also gets easier. For smaller companies, the whole process is a tedious one, and unless a SEO team is working extensively to make things happen, brand recognition is complicated.
- Because SEO tools and software matter
With limited budgets, small companies cannot afford to invest in SEO tools and expensive software, which aids the online marketing process, and this can stunt growth considerably. Bigger brands can easily spend on tools that can simplify and ease some of the regular tasks involved in SEO and marketing. On the other hand, the new businesses and startups often deal with free tools and the whole process of manual management of SEO work takes much longer time.
- Because relationship with Google matters
Small businesses don’t have the required equation with Google. At times when SEO and marketing efforts go haywire, the biggest brands spend time with Google, so that they know what went wrong, which helps in fixing the problem organically as SEO requires. It shouldn’t be surprising that these brands have a personal relationship with the search engine, considering that they spend millions
each year on ads, which only adds to Google’s revenues. One of the main small business issues is the lack of a reliable equation with Google.
- Because Google has a thing for brands
Google relies on content, and brands are a favorite when it comes to search results. This is because these recognizable brand websites usually have more data, and it is rather hard to focus on those keywords and relevant aspects that these brands are targeting. One of the problems small business owners face is the competition, because Google naturally has an incline towards the bigger companies, and it is hard to compete in similar niches targeting same or similar keywords.
So, is SEO still relevant for smaller brands?
Absolutely. More people are likely to use Google, Yahoo and Bing to find a local business, and you cannot ignore the scope that SEO offers, both in the short and long run. Not to forget, content visibility depends largely on SEO, and without that, even great content is a waste, unless your intended target audiences finds it on the internet. Keyword optimization is also the third important aspect that matters even for the smallest sites, because unless your website gets indexed, focusing on ranking is not possible at the basic level.
Hire a SEO agency today!
We know that one of the many small business marketing challenges is finance, but SEO is considerably cheaper. As such, if you are a small business owner or struggling business reading this, don’t hesitate in paying an agency for your marketing needs, especially SEO. It is critical for the success of your website, and there is no replacement for SEO.